Hardcore Saab Fans Love ‘Drive My Car’ Too

I was going to ask if you caught that.

In the movie itself, they never specifically mentioned it as a Saab, that I can recall. They certainly have a lot of still shots and shots of the back. It was very clear that to that character, the car was a lot more than just a vehicle to get you from one point to another. The car was his sort of escape, if you will, his sort of solace, his little peaceful place that he could go to go riding and to clear his mind. Those of us that drive Saabs, of course, we still need to get from A to B with our cars, but our cars mean a lot more to us than just merely transportation.

Yūsuke was pretty reluctant to let her have the keys at first. Do you let anyone else drive your car?

I do, especially other members of our club, but I am usually very nervous when I do. And there’s a lot of things that you have to go over. On those older Saabs, the keys are down in the middle, which is a famous thing for Saabs. That classic 900 was the first Saab model to have that key in the center in between the two seats.

What do you think the movie captured especially well about the main character’s emotional relationship with this car?

I think what the movie captured is that the car is more than just the strict transportation. Not only did he use that car and wanted the longer commute in order to listen and study his lines, but also it was a moment to spend with his wife. And after she passed, he reflected and just took in her voice. The car was really a temple or a getaway, if you will. And that’s something that Saab drivers can really relate to.

I think things like this movie have really sparked our membership. We started our signups for our convention in January. We typically don’t open our registration until April 1st. We opened in January, and we’re almost sold out in certain areas.

I’ve definitely been wondering this—have you seen the movie explicitly pique anyone’s interest in buying this car?

There have been a few on Bring a Trailer that have sold for over $50,000. There was one, just in the last few months, that was red. It looks almost like a replica of the one in the movie. And it sold for $55,000. And there are a number of Saab 900s—there has been a huge uptick. You can actually go on Bring a Trailer and there’s a chart that shows the prices, and you see that steep rise.

We’re friendly with a lot of dealers who are still working on selling Saabs. People have these SPGs [Special Performance Group models], and they might be parked in a barn or under a tree. It’s so typical for so owners to not want to let go of their car, even if it’s not running. They say, “Oh, it’s just way too nice to get rid of. And I want it to go to somebody who can bring it back to its former glory.” And I can tell you that I’ve heard from a number of different mechanics that people are asking them about getting their SPGs running again, because they’re noticing these values going up, and they’re noticing these cars being portrayed and just the attention being found.

To see Saab over five figures was not something that even five years ago you would see.

Do you have a favorite scene in the movie?

There’s that scene where it’s in the morning, and he comes out, and she’s uncovering the car, because she had covered it the night before. And the sun is kind of shining out on it. And it’s just a view of that car from a distance on that side view, and you just see that there’s just something so pleasing to the eye.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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